In the past month, every major tech company has revealed new fintech ambitions — and that's good for consumers, according to Brandon Krieg, CEO of the fractional investing and banking app Stash.
"It's really telling for the consumer that there's a better way and different way to manage your money versus only going to the brick and mortar," Krieg said in an interview with Cheddar Monday. "I welcome this continued innovation it's going to help us all stay on our toes."
This month alone, Google revealed plans to offer consumer checking accounts, JPMorgan Chase said it's developing an e-wallet for Amazon and gig economy platforms like Lyft and Airbnb, and Facebook began rolling out Facebook Pay. In October, Uber introduced debit cards for drivers through a partnership with Green Dot, the same company that powers the Stash bank account.
With platforms of such large existing scale integrating financial services, it remains to be seen what happens to the disruptors: young fintech companies, like Stash, that have made a dent in the consumer finance industry with a new lower-fee, transparent, and customer-centric versions of core financial products (checking and savings accounts, investing, lending, and insurance).
"It's all about data and the customer being dead center," Krieg said. "The financial ecosystem is there for them when they need it, and that's it. The days of selling everything you have at a customer — those days will quickly end. The customer will get access to different types of products they never really had access to and all wrapped around advice … That's where this business is going versus a financial supermarket where you just get everything."
Stash, which initially launched as an investing app, currently has four million customers, up from 3.1 million in April. It launched its bank account in March, along with its stock-back feature, which earns users stock in the companies where they spend, rather than cash. Krieg said Monday that users have earned fractional shares of stock from more than five million qualifying transactions.
In the last month, Stash has added support for Apple Pay and Google Pay wallets, mobile check deposit, and bill pay.